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Aspendos Ancient City is one of the important cultural assets of Turkey, known for its rich history. The ancient city, which was founded by the Achaeans in the 10th century BC, is located in the Belkıs village of the Serik district of Antalya. Aspendos Ancient City, which has always had a very important location because it is located on the trade route, consists of structures such as agora, theatre, stadium, bath, cisterns and shops.
The most famous structure of the ancient city, where most of its buildings have survived, is the ancient theater with a capacity of 12 thousand people. Built by the Roman Zenon in the 2nd century AD, this ancient theater is among the oldest examples of surviving stages. Visited by many local and foreign tourists every year, the ancient city of Aspendos now hosts events such as theater and concerts.
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The Story of Aspendos
Once upon a time, the king of Aspendos had a very beautiful daughter whom everyone wanted to marry, and the king could not decide who to marry his daughter to. As a last resort, he said to the people, “I will give my daughter to him who does the most beneficial thing for our people and our city.” he announced.
Thereupon, the twin sons of Theodorus of Aspendos built two large buildings. One of them is the aqueducts, which are wonders of geometry, bringing water to the city by crossing complex roads from far away, and the other is the amphitheater with the best acoustics in the world, which can be heard even from the top row when a coin is thrown in the middle of the stage.
The king first wanted to give his daughter to the brother who built the aqueducts, but while walking around the top of the amphitheater, he heard a whisper saying, “The king must give his daughter to me”. Hearing these words murmured by Zenon from the top rows and the acoustics of the theater impressed the king very much and he decided to marry his daughter to Zenon.
The Things You Need to Know About Aspendos
Aspendos Theater is one of the most distinguished representatives of the Roman Period theaters today, due to its architectural features and the well-preserved historical texture. Dedicated to the gods and emperors of the era, the building exhibits the last lines of Roman theater architecture and construction technique. Aspendos theater, one of the magnificent buildings of its time, could accommodate 15-20 thousand people. It was built by the architect Zenon, son of Theodoros, during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180 AD).
It is understood from the Greek and Latin inscriptions that it was built by two rich brothers of the city, Curtius Crispinus and Curtius Auspicatus, at two moments of the entrance. Next to the theater, the most important ruins of the city that can be visited are the waterways. The Aspendos waterway system is one of the best preserved examples of ancient waterways. Its general view consists of water pressure towers at both ends of the approximately 1 kilometer long north-south arched bridge.
While the water of the city was collected in pear-shaped cisterns carved into the bedrock, which can be seen from place to place on the hill, a waterway system was developed together with all the structures in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, and it was achieved to obtain water more regularly. On the hill where the theater leans, surrounded by city walls, the agora, basilica, monumental fountain, parliament building, monumental arch, street and Hellenistic temple, which are the structures of the city center, are the ruins that should be seen.
Where is Aspendos Ancient City?
Aspendos Ancient City, one of Turkey’s most important ancient cities, is located in Antalya, one of the most important and popular holiday destinations in summer. Aspendos Ancient City, located in Belkıs Village of Serik district of Antalya, welcomes you in greenery.
Aspendos Visiting Hours and Visiting Days
The Ancient City is open 365 days a year and there is no holiday. There are two separate visiting hours in the archaeological site, which can be visited seven days a week. The visiting hours of the ancient city are as follows:
- April-October: 08:00 / 19:00 (Summer Term)
- November-March: 08:30 / 17:30 (Winter Period)
How much is the Aspendos Ancient City Entrance Fee?
Aspendos entrance fee is determined as 100 TL (5 €) for 2023. Museum Card can be used to enter the region. You can visit it twice a year with Müzekart and unlimited visits with Müzekart+. You can visit muze.gov.tr for current entrance fees.
Click to download Aspendos museum brochure.
How to go to Aspendos?
Aspendos Ancient City is located in Serik district of Antalya province. Located in the east of the district center, the region is 8 kilometers away from the district. Daily tours are organized to the region. The region is located at the 44th kilometer of the Antalya-Alanya highway. You can reach the area after driving 2 kilometers by taking the road that turns north at the 44th kilometer. The area is 50 kilometers from Antalya, 94 kilometers from Alanya and 35 kilometers from Side. You can easily reach the region with the minibuses departing from Serik district center, especially in the summer period.